One of the best reasons to pursue a career in the medical world is that there are more and more jobs available with every year, no matter where you live. One of the best ways to find a job with the highest salary possible is to look at the top employers for your field. As an ultrasound tech, you have a number of employment options.
Hospitals are, by far, the largest employers of ultrasound techs. Most hospitals employ sonographers, and some employ them in multiple departments, so specializing during your education and training will mean that you’re qualified for even more positions. As the job market expands, hospitals are likely to remain the largest employer of ultrasound techs, but the fast growth (and, thus, the most new jobs and job openings) will be in physicians’ offices, outpatient health care facilities, and laboratories. Currently, the most positions across the country are found with the following employers, according to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics:
With all of these employers, annual salaries are, on average, between $60,000 and $65,000. The employers that hire the most ultrasound techs aren’t necessarily those paying the highest, however. If you want to work for a top employer in terms of annual salary, look to the following types of employers of ultrasound techs:
Of course, the above-listed annual salaries are simply averages, so the potential to earn more, even six figures, exists. As you can probably tell, however, you likely won’t qualify for these positions straight out of school with just an associate’s degree. Although that’s all you need, education-wise, to get started in the field of ultrasound technology, the candidates who are hired at top-paying facilities usually have bachelor’s degree and advanced training in a specialized area. The most certifications and special training you have, the better candidate you’ll be for employers. Even in this growing field, the job market can be quite competitive, especially for top-paying positions, so having just an associate’s degree may not be enough for the ultrasound tech job you want most.
Remember, higher salaries don’t just depend on advanced education. You’ll also be offered higher salaries as you get more experienced, and can receive raises annually from your employer based on job performance, so skills like patient care, diagnosing, and responsibility are all important. You’ll also earn more money if you’re willing to relocate, as certain areas of the country have a higher demand for ultrasound technicians. Right now, the highest demand for ultrasound techs is found in Florida, followed by Connecticut and New Jersey. Be flexible about where you live, and you’ll have more options when you’re finished with your education and it’s time to apply for ultrasound tech jobs.
Though the demand for diagnostic medical sonographers is highest in Florida, the median wage there may not be as good as in other locations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics gathers detailed data about the parts of the country with the highest wages, most job opportunities, and highest concentrations of ultrasound technicians, as well as other data pertaining to the profession. The following is a breakdown of states that combine good job opportunities for ultrasound techs with above average wages. Rates of employment are calculated as a ratio of ultrasound tech jobs per thousand total jobs, and wages can be broken down as either hourly or annual means.
The BLS also generates a piece of data about employment called “location quotient,” which compares employment in a certain industry to overall employment in all fields in a particular area, as well as incorporating the demand for a particular type of worker, such as ultrasound technicians, in an area. The an area with a low location quotient likely has not met its own need for workers in the sector in question. This infographic illustrates the location quotients for diagnostic medical sonographers across the U.S.
Aside from getting an education from an accredited institution, there are a few basic steps you should take to ensure a good start and continued success in an ultrasound technician career. A certificate or degree is not enough to get you beyond an entry level position, and if you invest in an education, you should take action to assure that you can continue to increase your skills and advance to higher positions in the field. The following are a few wise and necessary moves you can make to give your career staying power and momentum.
All of these steps will help you minimize the role of chance in your job search. There will always be an element of luck, and the possibility of being in the right place at the right time, but by controlling the above factors and using them to your advantage, you can give yourself the best odds of landing a great job and advancing from there.
With the current lag in the job market, and economic woe making any kind of personal wealth-gain a struggle, getting a job as an ultrasound technician can give you a chance at good pay, job security, and the satisfaction of helping people in medical need. If you’re ready to get into school and start on your way toward a career in diagnostic medical sonography, use the widget embedded in this article to find a school that matches your needs.
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